While reorganizing the blog, I found some old posts I had written for a new series I was trying to develop. I have attempted new topics in the past, some flopped mightily and others were actually interesting, such as this one, Name the Game. The point of these is to find an action shot from a baseball card and then try to determine the exact play and game that the photograph occurred. I have done three previous versions, so I thought I’d raise this genre back from the dead.
Sticking with my original plan of starting at the first action shot (1971 Thurman Munson) and working forward (plus the fact vintage rocks), the next determinable card is the 1971 Cookie Rojas #118. This card has all the trimmings for determining the game and play.
1. Double play ball at second base.
2. Opponents jersey and number is clearly visible.
3. Day game.
4. Bonus – Score board visible in the background.
Because of these four items, this card was easy to identify. First step was to identify the stadium. It’s obvious the Royals are on the road, and I do spy pinstripes sliding into second base. So, it’s a day game at Yankee Stadium. At the beginning of the 1970 season, Cookie was a Cardinal and then traded to the Royals for Fred Rico, after Cookie was hitting an abysmal .106 after 23 games for the Red Birds. Cookie played 98 games for the Royals, and checking out Cookie’s game logs for 1970, we see the Royals played three games at the Yanks during Cookie’s tenure that year (August 14th, 15th and 16th).
The 14th game was a Friday nighter, so it’s out, but Cookie played in both the Saturday and Sunday day games. So, we’ll look at the mysterious #9 sliding into second. That’d be Ron Woods, who was in both games, but Ron never actually played in the Saturday game. He was a pinch hitter that was then pinch hit for. He never swung the bat in that game. That makes the Sunday, August 16th the game on the card. This is also confirmed by the scoreboard in the background that matches the Sunday game.
So, what play is it? Looking through the box score of that game, we see that Ron Woods led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to left field against Ken Wright. Gene Michael then hit into a 6-4-3 double play. There you go!
The 1971 Topps Cookie Rojas #118 is the first half of a double play in the bottom of the sixth inning during the August 16, 1970 day game at Yankee Stadium!